Review

Song Review: Park Jihoon – Gallery

Park Jihoon - GalleryPark Jihoon is immensely charming (especially as an actor), but I’ve found his solo work pretty hit and miss. For every Wing there’s a Gotcha, making it difficult to identify the overarching sound his agency is aiming for. I hope they’ve settled on the funk synth style of new single Gallery, because this song is very strong.

In some ways, Gallery feels like a continuation of Kim Donghan’s excellent 2019 single Focus. Like that song, an instrumental hook proves to be the star of the show. Gallery is remarkably focused, but still makes room for engaging diversions that vault its energy to another level. The bass-driven verses echo today’s K-pop trends and aren’t particularly original. Yet, the production is so slick and groovy that the whole package manages to come across as fresh and exciting. I’m a sucker for this particular rhythm (part of why I adore JO1’s Born To Be Wild), and when Gallery jumps into its post-chorus synth assault, I’m in heaven.

With that said, the song could do with a stronger hook. The chorus is simple and repetitive, which works alongside the densely packed instrumental (love those strings and ad-libs!). But, the refrain lacks bite. Luckily, the verses compensate. Verse two is especially nice, veering from expected structure yet maintaining the groove as Jihoon flirts between rap and melody. It’s a smart way to keep the track engaging without upending its energy. And with that impressive synth solo waiting around every corner, this Gallery more than earns its price of admission.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

15 thoughts on “Song Review: Park Jihoon – Gallery

  1. I would like the song a lot more if the line “Sit in a special seat” was not in English. I don’t care if it was all Korean or he just ooh’s the whole line, I have no idea what the heck it means to “sit in a special seat”. Are we waiting for Elijah? Is it the special cushy seat reserved for visitors with bad arthritis? The head of the table? The other end of the table? Do we tie balloons to it and call it the special seat? Is glitter involved? Bring out! The Comfy chair! No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

    All kidding aside, the rest of it is pretty funky and good. And for a solo artist, he commands the stage very well. Jihoon does a great job of smoothing over the edges in the song that sounds crafted for a multipart group so well that unless you are deliberately listening for the change in parts, it is seamless. (qv to 0:28 to 0:28-0:36 to 0:37-0:44).

    But I am _so_ distracted by that line.

    Liked by 2 people

      • My guess is that the song was originally in Swenglish and the 2nd or 3rd line ended with a word that rhymes with “seat”, such as meet greet beat eat treat bleat teat, etc.
        Otherwise I would have use “chair”
        Sit in a special chair
        Let me caress your hair
        We’re going over there
        ooh ooh ooh ooh

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, that line stands out like a sore thumb and I have a sinking feeling it’s going to be stuck in my head all day. Maybe Stockholm syndrome will set in after a couple more listens – that instrumental definitely calls for the good headphones.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. its kind of funny how wanna one was saddled with generic music but (some) members went in the opposite direction when they disbanded. not that im complaining!

    although i would rank sungwoon’s strawberry gum slightly higher than jihoon. its a 9 for me, effortlessly catchy and likeable

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love the sound. After Enhypen’s “see what her mamma made,” “sit in a special seat” barely makes a dent in my soul. In fact, after grooving along a few times, my brain is convinced the phrase is common parlance. I expect to start using it in conversation.

    Like

  4. I was a happy man until I was forced to think about the meaning of “sit in a special seat”. But at least it fits quite slickly (is that even a word?) with the backing tune.

    I’m pleasantly surprised by the way this guy keeps hitting my sweet spot ever after Wing; somewhat less each subsequent time, but still. I totally wasn’t expecting that after his first two releases; actually expected it from the more… uh… or better, the “less lively” members that I supposed were gonna make the kinda pseudo-depressive, pseudo hard-hitting songs I’ve been liking ever since late 2018 or thereabouts. Like Kang Daniel.

    (Except for that Universe song. Universe songs just don’t exist, nope. I refuse to acknowledge them)

    (…although Tesseract…)

    Like

  5. I liked it a lot, and it made the roller rink playlist. I used to listen to a lot of Eurovision entries before getting mired in Kpop, and I cherish weird English phrases. But special chair sounds like one you’re sitting in the corner as a kid because you broke a window or swore or something. I wonder if they were going for “throne”.

    Like

    • “Mired in kpop” is a great phrase – I’m gonna steal it! I spent past of last weekend catching up with a friend who has been contributing to a Eurovision blog and podcast for a decade now, and we were both amused how much our hobbies overlapped. I did turn down her offer to send me bonkers music I might like, however – one country’s bonkers music industry is more than enough to keep me entertained.

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      • Feel free! I’ve discovered a fun subgenre of Kpop Youtube called “Kpop songs as Eurovision entries” and that’s good for giggles. (Still imagining a world where ‘Ring Ding Ding Dong’ wins it all for Moldova).

        Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t know if this is what you were talking about, but I found a video called “kpop songs that could be Eurovision bops” and pretty much every song on there is one I already like or haven’t heard but like the sound of. Yay!

          Like

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